Thursday, December 29, 2011

Simplifying my Life - Week One

So, what are your New Year’s Resolutions? Do you have any? Typically I find I can never stick to them, so why bother. But this year I am hoping to change that. This year my resolution is to get my house in order and simplify my life. Lucky me there is someone much smarter and wiser about these things than I and they have an entire blog dedicated to helping others simplify their lives. At, the blogger there, Beth, has just posted her 2012 simplify your life calendar with 365 days of simple tasks anyone can do to get things in order around the home.

My hope is that some of you will join me in this journey and that we can encourage each other to push through day by day, week by week, and month by month. I am sure this will not be easy, but I think the end results will be worth the effort. So, what do you say? Are you in? Sign up at and the link to download the entire 2012 calendar will be emailed to you.

Week 1 of the 2012 Declutter calendar starts in the kitchen, one of my most favorite and most dreaded rooms in my home. Yes, I have a love hate relationship with the kitchen. I love it because of all the yummy goodness I bake there. I love it for the rich brown granite countertops, the black stone sink, and rich red cedar cabinets. I love it for all the fun photos plastered all over my refridge from friends and family. I love it for just the simple homey smells that are created there and then permeate throughout my home.

I hate the kitchen because I have an endless line of dishes that pile up in my sink. I hate the kitchen because no one ever wants to eat leftovers and they are left to go bad on my refrigerator shelves. I hate the kitchen because my floors never seem to stay clean, nor do the counters for that matter. I hate the kitchen because I wish I had twice as much room and cabinets to store my things.

Week 1 in Beth's calendar: dust cabinets, organize spices and go through freezer…those are just a few things on the 2012 calendar for the first week. I think I can do that! And I think by doing that I will be taking big steps toward making my kitchen a more enjoyable place to be.

Beth poses this question to start the year “Think about who you want to be this coming year”. Hmmm….I want to think on that. How about you? Any thoughts?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How To Get That Baby To Eat!

Some of you know how I had pre-made a bunch of baby food for my little one. Pears, apples and squash all pureed, natural and sitting in my freezer read to serve up. I am thinking, wow, my baby is going to just love this food! She is going to eat it all up and beg for more....yeah, okay, things didn't go exactly like this.

The first couple times I fed her (Baby E) she seemed to really like it. Then, out of the blue, she wouldn't eat a bite. She instead made the funniest faces and repeatedly spit out the food. Shucks! That is not how this was supposed to go!

So what's a mom to do, you ask. After talking with her pediatrician and getting the "okay", I began lightly flavoring Baby E's food. It worked like a charm. She is eating away again, no complaints and no negative reaction from a little flavoring. Yeah.

Now, the run down of how her food is prepared. First I typically use about two ice cube portions of whatever pre-made food I have prepared (ie. squash or apples). These have already been pureed, mixed with either breast milk or formula and a little of the stock that developed underneath them as they were steamed.

Next, I mix about 1 ounce of water, or breast milk with a tiny bit of cereal until I get the desired consistency. I mix the cereal with the warmed food I heated up from the freezer. I then add a tiny little sprinkle of a sugar substitute. I use Truvia, which is very sweet so I am careful to only add a tiny sprinkle. I then add a dash of cinnamon, and I mean a tiny dash! You don't want to mask the flavor of the food completely. You do still want your baby to develop a preference for natural foods.

And that's it! That little bit of seasoning is all it took for Baby E to go from frowning and spitting out everything that touched her lips to gulping it down and begging for more! Happy baby = happy Mom!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Crazy Scraps Granny "Square" Hat

I am so bad about blogging! I get so caught up in my creations that I fail sometimes to pay attention to the Blog! So, this blog is dedicated to all that I have been doing rather than blogging, mainly my crazy scraps hat currently for sale in my ETSY store.

I ended up making this hat completely by accident. I started off making a granny square and thinking about sewing a few together to make a block. However, by the 6th or 7th round of the square I realized it was getting way too big! I was ready to tear it apart and start something new. Instead I had an idea. Why not form this granny into a hat? So that is what I did. I followed free pattern instructions from Ravelry out to the diameter I thought would be adequate for a baby hat. From there I just started crocheting all kinds of stiches, making sure to keep the number of stitches the same for each round (not increasing or decreasing). Finally, I added a soft and thick wool trim to give it a finished look.

It came out looking so different from any hat I have seen out there. You have to admit, it is different looking! And super fun! This technique is a really easy way for anyone to create a hat of their own...without a set hat pattern. Just find a granny square pattern that starts in a circular pattern and use it to establish the top of the hat, then just get funky with it and use your imagination! Change up the stitches, change yarns (though keep the yarn weight the same or you'll have to change your needle)...have fun!

I used several stitch patterns on this hat. I used groups of two dcs, cross stiches, groups of 3 dcs together and long dcs through rows below the current stitches. Any stitch will do, just so long as you keep the count consistent.

Now it's your turn! Have fun!